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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
V for Vendetta (dir. James McTeigue, 2006) 
19th-Mar-2006 06:07 pm
Okay, first of all, I've not read the original comic, but I recognize the unashamedly literary use of rhyme, alliteration, poetry, and cultural/political history as, at least, being pure Alan Moore. The rest? Who knows? The original strip dates back to 1982, and things have changed somewhat since then. I see some serious visual homages to the film version of 1984 (another story of a British police state to which V for Vendetta owes a serious debt of gratitude), and anyone who misses the less than subtle jabs, I mean sledgehammering, of outrage re: the American socio-political climate has to be blind, deaf, AND dumb (as in stupid, not mute).

The best part of the film, hands down, was Hugo Weaving's most distinctive voice, but given that the damn mask never came off, they might as well have gone for the gold a la Star Wars, found some TRUE aural heavyweight, and given him a body double. Weaving makes a great drag queen, but without the feather boa he didn't have quite sufficient onscreen presence.

Stephen Rea made a sufficiently droopy but virtuous cop...scratched my head through the whole film trying to figure out where I'd last seen him, but not until afterward, when my father mentioned that he is Irish, did I realize he was Da in The Butcher Boy (and someone else in every Neil Jordan film ever, it seems).

As for Natalie Portman...*shudders*

There was a nice little lesbian tragic subplot in the middle. Though its inclusion betrays the story's age (If the story were written nowadays, given the cultural detente in general regarding homosexuality, you'd probably see the government rounding up all the non-Anglo-Saxons first.), it has its heart in exactly the right place. The story gave her the autonomy to resist, to choose her death and to die as an conscious example to others.

The film betrayed its "superhero" comic origins in one particular shot of V (some body double or computer animation with way more upper body tone than Weaving) emerging from the flames.

Anyway, overall, the film was nicely atmospheric. Nice mise en scene--a little futuristic in places but not ridiculously so...nor unnecessarily decaying, for that matter--some pretty shots. But if you want truly gorgeous revenge films, watch Park Chan-Wook's Old Boy. (The preview I saw of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance looked promising as well, but I can't vouch.)

Loud and unsubtle. But then, it was supposed to be. That's, I suppose, what made it as gripping a rallying cry against injustice as it was. The film was better than I expected (and a heck of a lot better than most comic book adaptations to film) but not, God I hope not, the best film of the year.
19th-Mar-2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
Natalie no good? I did think her bald look was kinda sexy really ^_^;;
20th-Mar-2006 12:44 am (UTC)
*rolls eyes* Not a great actress, IMO. Not to mention that it all looked incredibly pedophilic.
20th-Mar-2006 01:02 am (UTC)
Not to mention that it all looked incredibly pedophilic.

How old was she supposed to be? ^^;;

You know, maybe she did her best work in The Professional.. All I've seen her in otherwise is the Star Wars stuff, and that didn't really seem to require so much acting ^^
20th-Mar-2006 02:09 am (UTC)
How old was she supposed to be? ^^;;

Maybe 17 or 18? I'm not sure, but she was definitely working, so...

All I've seen her in otherwise is the Star Wars stuff, and that didn't really seem to require so much acting ^^

Not to mention that Star Wars leading ladies don't exactly have a record long, illustrious careers... ^^;;
20th-Mar-2006 02:18 am (UTC)
Star Wars leading ladies don't exactly have a record long, illustrious careers

Sad to think then that maybe she did her best work at 12 ^_^;
20th-Mar-2006 01:51 pm (UTC)
As in Episode 1? Calling that "her best work" is like calling McDonalds gourmet cuisine. ^^;
20th-Mar-2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
No, I mean in The Professional.. I think she was 18 in Episode 1...
20th-Mar-2006 02:35 pm (UTC)
*laughs* I've never seen The Professional.

I think she was 18 in Episode 1...

She must be my age then. Even though she still looks like a little child. I wonder if she'll age well in that case.
20th-Mar-2006 02:47 pm (UTC)
Her entire family is murdered by psychotic drug dealers who also happen to be police, and she's taken in by an Italian hit man, who of course is the hero of the whole thing ^_^

I think it required a lot more real acting out of her than the Star Wars stuff...
20th-Mar-2006 02:49 pm (UTC)
It's rare to find a film these days that requires a lot of acting. Even V for Vendetta, which you would've THOUGHT would require a lot, survived mostly through editing.
20th-Mar-2006 03:58 pm (UTC)
Here's the summary and stuff: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0110413/

20th-Mar-2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
It sounds disturbingly similar to V for Vendetta. ^^;;;
27th-Mar-2006 11:22 pm (UTC) - EVERYONE!!

Good review K.
20th-Mar-2006 01:38 am (UTC)
I think a lot of people wouldn't have "got it" if they weren't sledgehammered. I can't wait to see it this week. We were supposed to go this weekend but played outside instead.
20th-Mar-2006 01:53 pm (UTC)
At least this time around the Wachowskis are reflecting current events with measured deliberateness. I still remember how the first Matrix coincided with the Columbine shootings...
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